Stephanie Bolzen und Julia Smirnova, “Warum Russland im Informationskrieg vorn liegt Die Nato wirft Russland gewaltige Truppenpräsenz in der Ostukraine vor. Putin dementiert, der Westen ist hilflos. Warum werden Geheimdienst-Beweise nicht genutzt, um Druck auf den Kreml auszuüben?,” Die Welt, 1. Februar 2015 (13:27 Uhr).
We have commented earlier on Barack Obama’s “phantasmagoric” world, in which the choice of words define reality.
See “Barack Obama’s phantasmagoric world, where the choice of words defines reality,” The Trenchant Observer, September 5, 2015.
We have pointed out how newspapers like the Wall Street Journal help Vladimir Putin in carrying out his “stealth” war against the Ukraine, by never reporting the facts of the Russian military intervention in the Ukraine, but rather stating that NATO or other allied sources “charge” Russia with specific acts of military aggression, always dutifully noting that Russia rejects the charge and maintains it has no forces in the Donbas.
See “Go for Putin!,” The Trenchant Observer, November 12, 2014.
When does that Russian denial, which is contrary to all known and directly observed facts, cease to be “news”? If it’s not news, why is the Wall Street Journal reporting it?
What ever happened to the duty and moral obligation of newspapers to report to their readers the facts of what is going on in the world?
Such reporting is totally at odds with the kind of “he said, she said” jounalism which all too often has become the rule, even and egregiously in countries where there is freedom of the press.
Now Stephanie Bolzen in London and Julia Smirnova in Moscow have in Die Welt (Berlin) published a comprehensive overview of how Putin and Russia have used the diffidence of leaders like Barack Obama (who until quite recently refused to characterize the Russian invasion of the Donbas as an invasion) and newspapers like the Wall Street Journal to his own advantage in winning the propaganda war against the West, obfuscating the stark and unambiguous facts of the Russian invasion of the Ukraine.
Moreover, the U.S. and allied military and intelligence agencies have a huge array of information, based on concrete facts, which they could bring to bear in rebutting Putin’s assertions and lies. Why don’t they?
After he is retired, we can ask U.S. General Philip Breedlove for his full account of the facts of Russian aggression. Breedlove is NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Europe. He obviously would like to tell us many more of the facts of Russian military intervention in the Ukraine than his superiors in Washington seem to want to allow.
These little lies have their cost: Over 5,000 people have been killed in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of the Ukraine since the invasion of regular Soviet military forces took place there in August, 2015.
“In war, the first casualty is truth,” Aeschylus, the famous Greek playright, was perhaps the first to observe.
The problem with Obama’s and the Wall Street Journal’s diffident and even dainty approach to the truth about the Russian-Ukrainian war is that Western leaders become confused by their own politically-motivated “dances” with the truth. In this, they resemble their Russian counterparts who, deprived of the truth and served up a daily feast of grotesque lies and distortions, may also have difficulty understanding what is going on in the Ukraine.
To be sure, this is as Putin would have it. But it is also true that Barack Obama did not want the American people to hear from the government that Russia has invaded the Ukraine.
Hillary Clinton explained the logic behind this kind of verbal legerdemain: If we called what is going on in the Darfur region of the Sudan “genocide”, she said on a TV talk program, then there would be great pressure to take action to do something about it.
That is why the voters in democracies need to know the truth, and choose their leaders and representatives on the basis of the realities they understand which are based on truthful statements by their leaders, and full and truthful reporting by their press.
It is time for the president of the U.S. and other Western and allied leaders to describe what they see in the world in real terms, expressing the truth of what they understand and believe based on the facts available to them, or which might be obtained with some effort–a little “shoe leather” as journalists used to put it.
Unless we call things by their real names, we are lost.
The Trenchant Observer